A Legacy Lost: CEO and Chief Innovator Gavin Belson Exits Hooli
By: C.J. Cantwell
“Action” Jack Barker to succeed
Founder of Hooli Gavin Belson has come to the end of his tenure as CEO and chief innovator. Belson, who also founded the company, announced his resignation via Hooli press release today, stating he would be focusing on “spiritual wellness and family.” He went on to say, “The Hooli corporation is exceptionally well positioned to continue its growth as an industry leader. While a difficult personal decision, this is the right choice for me at this time. I will always cherish my time at Hooli and look forward to future challenges and opportunities.”
Scandal has been mounting with the fallen tech icon for months. His much-lauded Nucleus platform was a definitive failure, an embarrassment of non-innovation, and it was ultimately canned before release. Belson also suffered a very public scandal when we here at Code/Rag broke the story that the CEO had been involved in doctoring Hooli-Search results – trying to hide his shortcomings in a misuse of company resources. Now there are unconfirmed reports that Belson violated Hooli protocol in the acquisition of a company that contained toxic assets. While not much is known, these assets were part of a hasty acquisition led by Belson that violated Hooli’s extensive due diligence procedure and has resulted in action by the Federal Trade Commission.
Belson will be succeeded by “Action” Jack Barker, a veteran tech CEO. Barker commented, “We at Hooli pledge to work with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve this matter and commit ourselves to earning back the public trust.”
Barker, known for his success both pre- and post-dot-com bubble, recently made waves at Hooli by closing a deal to produce his Endframe/Hooli box in China. The board has full confidence in the veteran CEO, and look forward to moving on from the struggling leadership of recent months. An inside source tells me Belson’s leadership was on shaky ground with the Hooli board, and the latest misstep only solidified their already very legitimate concerns.
Belson’s exit marks a dramatic turn for the once noble leader, who started the company with the late Peter Gregory in Gregory’s mother’s garage. His life’s work has been the creation and running of this multi-billion dollar company, which started as an email system but quickly grew into so much more. No longer a spring chicken, the real question of Belson’s future is whether he can recover from this great a loss this late in his career. Is this the end for Gavin Belson? Or will this phoenix rise again?